Customers often ask us “What is the difference between a strong coffee and a darker roasted coffee?” or “Is a darker roasted coffee a stronger coffee?”
Well we took the time to break this down for you to ensure that you are getting the best cup of Tomoca coffee, and the way you like it!
When asking this question it is important to define the difference between the type of roast and the strength of the coffee. In our opinion, there is no simple answer to this question! Firstly it’s important to define what you mean by strength. At a technical level, strength is defined as the actual caffeine content on a particular amount of coffee. Over a long period of time people have tended to refer to strength as being a higher, or “stronger” flavour. Unfortunately, there can be many different distinctions between these meanings. Using this definition of coffee strength, then the largest single influence in how strong a cup of coffee is, is the amount of coffee dosed compared to the amount of water to make a cup of coffee. In this regard the person making the coffee has the most influence, as they will determine the ratio of coffee grinds to water during the brewing process. In reality, 50g of dark roast coffee and 50g of light roast coffee have roughly the same amount of caffeine. Measuring by weight (mass) will give you about the same caffeine every time, regardless of roast level.
An alternative description to the question of strength can also look into the ‘flavour’ or how much ‘bite’ the coffee has, then the answer is considerably more complex. Each individual type of coffee requires its own depth of roasting to bring out its best flavours. Therefore one particular bean may only require a medium roast, whereas another bean may require a darker roast in order to bring out its best and unique flavour notes. This is where the skill and experience of the roaster comes in. At Tomoca we pride ourselves in having mastered the coffee roasting technique with our over 60 years of experience.
In the past, dark roast coffee reigned king. Drinking “strong” dark roast coffee was the sign of a seasoned, experienced and hardened palette. Light roast coffee was usually considered a lower version for the weak tongued. However this opinion may have altered drastically with some coffee connoisseurs in the 21st century even going as far as suggesting that lighter roasts have more complex flavors. This change in opinion may be attributed to improvement in the quality of the actual coffee bean! Farmers are getting better and better at their farming techniques and processing, which means coffee beans with exceptional flavors are easier to find. Now that roasters can roast lighter whilst providing delicious flavors, they’re discovering new ways to highlight unique, wild flavors in the high-quality beans!
So when comparing darkness and strength a darker roasted coffee generally does have more punch to its taste as more of its natural oils are released (the darker the roast the more oily the beans) in the roasting process. The difference in the caffeine content of a darker roasted coffee than its medium roasted counterpart is in fact only negligible, and therefore strength of the coffee from a caffeine perspective is broadly the same. So in short, darker roasted coffee will usually taste punchier and may give the impression of being a stronger coffee due to its taste, but won’t be any stronger as far as the caffeine content is concerned.
At Tomoca we provide 3 types of roast levels which are available on both our Ethiopian bean and Rwandan coffee bean varieties which offers tasting notes of Lemon, Caramel & Chocolate for the Rwandan bean and Fruity-Floral, Grape & Blueberry flavours in the Ethiopian coffee beans
Light roast coffee-
Light roast coffee is a light brown color and has no oil on the surface of the beans. A complete lush and rich taste with strong fruity flavor, our Light Roast Blend is renowned for its flavor and high health benefits. The original and unique flavor of the beans is well retained and manifested immensely in its taste and aroma.
Medium roast coffee-
The Medium Roast Blend has a deep coffee flavor without the nuances of a dark roast and is characterized by a very light oil sheen. This coffee has a medium acidity and body, as well as a rounded flavor profile. Roasting to this level also preserves many of the unique flavors of the coffee’s origin, but it also begins to reach into the deep caramel sweetness of a longer roast. As a result, this coffee is balanced, well rounded, and is slightly darker and sweeter. Some of the brightest notes of a light roast may be eliminated, but it’s a trade-off for extra balance.
Dark roast coffee-
Dark roast coffee is a dark brown color and often has an oily surface. These coffees have a low acidity, heavy body, and tend to reveal deeper, darker flavors. Some coffees This is our most popular blend and is renowned for its strong-thick flavor. To create the Dark Roast Blend, we adopt the wet processing method which produces coffee beans that have a rare low-acidity and full rich flavor, in essence giving birth to the TOMOCA flavor Rich flavor with a strong-spicy finish. The dark roast really thrives with chocolate-y, nutty, and caramel flavors, has a strong aroma, medium acidity, and is great quality for Espresso (fine grind).
Try the different roasting varieties at our Tomoca branches to discover what roast type speaks to your palette and grab a bag or more to take home and experiment with.
Follow us on our social media handles for these and more coffee insights!
Wishing you a merry Christmas and Happy new year this holidays from the Tomoca Team